Thursday, July 9, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 7/9/20

If you follow me on instagram (@liveacolorfullife), you may have noticed that I'm completely obsessed with our first-ever dahlia bloom. A few months ago we were given a box of tubers by Amy of @silverfrogflowers. They were unlabeled, and Amy said she had no idea which ones were in the box, or even if all of them would bloom. We followed instructions on planting, and last week our first bloom started opening. 

It is stunning. It is a blushy coral color, and don't be surprised if you see me select some fabric for a quilt in these luscious colors. To say I'm completely smitten is a huge understatement.

We have not been able to identify exactly which dahlia this is, although certainly not for lack of trying. I can identify dahlias that are very close in color. However, what is unique about this one is the "serrated" edges of the petals. 

Yesterday morning, I finally decided to cut it and bring it indoors so I can enjoy it nonstop. For sure I'm already planning on enlarging our dahlia garden for next summer. We have seven plants up right now. So far this is the only one with buds. But learning more about dahlias has begun!

Four summers ago, the grandkids stayed at our house for a few days while Aaron and Christa were on a trip. I decided to hold "art camp," and each day we had a different project. It was quite successful but for some reason we never officially held art camp again. 

This year, Christa will be attending a week of online classes and it will be easier if the kids are out of the house so she can concentrate. So...each one of the kids received this invitation in the mail.

Christa secured Ella's spot via a super cute video. Gabe and Levi both texted me their acceptance. And then we received this email from Charlotte, along with an extensive resume' and a letter of recommendation.

 This was our response.

I think it will be a fun week. 

Along these same lines, I enjoy having a one-on-one "date" with each of the grandkids. It's a little harder during this time of COVID-19 as we can't really go anywhere. I really wanted to do something with Ella, and then my friend, Janice, recommended a tea party. Perfect idea! I have a little china tea set from Beauty and the Beast, so I made this invitation and sent it on its way.

This was her reaction. I'll take that as a "yes."

Funniest text of the week. Clever use of an emoji as part of a word.

My friend, Barb, made a king-sized version of My Swedish Ex. It's beautiful!

Happy mail from my dear friend, Stephanie. I had mentioned to her I was feeling kind of down--like so many other people. And then this arrived in the mail. Having known Stephanie for nearly ten years now, I can tell you for certain that one of her "gifts" is that of thoughtfulness. And I know a lot of her other friends would say the same thing.
 And she found this tote bag at Office Max. Woohoo!
Latest home project--we redid this clock. It is from an old dresser and in its former life, it was painted a coral-orange, with black chalkboard paint for the face and chalk-stencilled numbers. We very nearly got rid of it, and then decided to give it a facelift. We added some of Mark's fused glass squares for the numbers and gave it a new lease on life. 

I seriously want to order this rug for our kitchen (
Fireworks in our neighborhood were out of control this year. Were yours too?
See you next week...

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 7/2/20

Welcome to July. Wow. The year is half over. Although to me, March seems like five years ago. As  the number of COVID cases has spiked dramatically here in California, things that were open briefly have now been shut down again.

I had actually started a blog post about my feelings of "life during the time of COVID-19," but was having a hard time crystallizing my thoughts. And then I read this on Instagram, written by Aneela Hoey, and thought this is EXACTLY how I feel!: "My head feels turbulent, exploding with thoughts but I feel I have nothing to say. These past few months I've lost every bit of desire to do anything creative. Which is confusing because as well as being my work, it is the thing that gets me through all of the other stuff. I feel like I'm at a crossroads without a compass."

There were so many confirming comments. Aneela's feelings are not isolated. No. They were echoed over and over and over. @bespokeoutlaw mentioned reading an article "about this unnamed feeling we are all experiencing being a kind of anticipatory grief..." So many commenters said they had to force themselves to sew something. @hello.erikabea said "...I'm holding out hope that it will change, or I will change." @_michellequilts_ said, "Being creative/doing creative things takes emotional energy. And right now there are a lot of things in our world that are sapping our emotional energy."

As someone else mentioned, it's both affirming and very sad at the same time. Rachel Sterling @sterlingsewn had some good advice, however. "...I think it's important just to acknowledge it and give yourself some credit for whatever you ARE able to do. There is no map, but that doesn't mean you're not making progress."

That's what I need to remember, on all these days when I feel like I'm making very little progress.

But you know who DID make progress? Gabe did some joyous sewing, and it was such fun to be a part of that.

To say that he is a Harry Potter fan is a severe understatement. Both his older brother and sister were fans, but this kid lives, eats and breathes Harry Potter. He decided he wanted some Harry Potter pillowcases. So I purchased a couple yards of HP fabric and he went to work. He also made a cute pillowcase for Ella. I had tried to get her to sew it herself but she wasn't interested. Maybe later... In the meantime, he was happy to make her pillowcase as well.
Then Gabe designed a banner for his room. He had a very clear vision of what he wanted. "Red and gold stripes with points." I thought having it come to the point in the middle would be the easiest. But no, he was adamant that it needed two points. I cut out some strips 5 1/2" by 12 1/2" and told him to put them on the design wall. He quickly decided they were too wide, so I cut them down to 3 1/2".
 He's getting very comfortable with the sewing machine. He told me he needs his own machine. His dream could definitely come true--little does he know that I don't own three Featherweights for nothing! :)
 I'm really glad he stuck to his vision. He knew what he wanted and he made it happen.
It was hot enough to get out the slip-n-slide.

I think we might be getting it out quite often, because...
My first dahlia is beginning to bloom. I'm SO excited! Mark and I really don't enjoy working in the yard, even though we want our yard to look nice. We have an excellent gardener for that. But this year, we have planted flowers and we've been enjoying them a lot.

Are people wearing masks where you live? Here in California--not so much...

With the spikes in cases, it's unlikely that fall sports will actually happen. Mark will probably not be refereeing any sports until spring. Even I will miss football season. It's not that I pay much attention to the games, but I love the sound of the games in the background. It's nice "white noise" for me.
This is how the year is shaping up.
But I'll end by focusing on the upcoming month.
Happy 4th.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 6/25/20

It's finally Thursday. This is how most weeks feel to me.

I read that Disneyland, which had planned a reopening date of July 17, to coincide with its 65th anniversary, has postponed opening to an unknown date.  Cases are going up, probably due in large part to more testing, as well as people being out more.  Here are some good guidelines to follow.

This seems right...
I spend plenty of time inside, on my phone, believe me. But "outside" seems one of the safest places to be right now. I have been wanting a "beach cruiser" bike for the longest time. Jill has wanted to upgrade to a mountain bike. So she sold me this absolutely perfect bike and I love it!
We had family pictures taken last week, but the absolutely amazing Matlyn of Matlyn Mae Photography.

We all look a little bit different than what I was expecting when we first made the appointment, scheduled for late April. But the appointment was postponed, obviously. So during that time, Mark has grown a beard, I have stopped coloring my hair, and Aaron has grown his hair out for maybe the second time since the end of junior high. I'm sure he probably knows this, but I like the look of his head shaved much more than with hair, but that's not my decision to make. Anyway, Christa said that the hair needed to go for the pictures. So last week, during dinner, I don't think anyone really paid attention that he was wearing his Dodgers cap.
Photo credit: Christa 
And then Christa requested that he take his hat off for a picture.  Woo boy...
Photo credit: Christa
Photo credit: Christa
Not exactly what anyone was expecting. Charlotte expressed shock, Gabe and Ella couldn't stop laughing. I'm sure glad Christa videotaped the whole thing.

The family photo shoot was a lot of fun. Matlyn is inventive and instinctively knows how to photograph both kids and adults.She took so many amazing photos. Here are just  a couple.
 Photo credit: Matlyn Mae Photography
Photo credit: Matlyn Mae Photography

I'll share more in a separate post. It's been three years since we took family photos and I'm thrilled with the results. And wow, have these kids grown!

Ruby and Amelia looked like this on Friday night. Beyond adorable.
Photo credit: Matlyn Mae Photography
By Saturday, their hair looked like this: mermaid braids! So cute. I'm sure Amelia would tell you it took hours and hours and hours...and hours. And I'm pretty sure Jill would agree. Although she says she is already watching more braiding videos on YouTube.
Photo credit: Jill

A project for this summer has been to label my quilts and also update my quilt diary blog. My plan was to label a quilt a day. Want to see how well that has worked for me? Actually, not at all. In addition, I have three quilts that need binding. But summer has only begun, right?
At least I continue to do some English paper piecing. It's fun and cute.

Stay healthy, my friends.